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MJM faces Cagayan

Games Today (Ynares Sports Arena, Pasig City)
12 noon – Cagayan Valley vs MJM Builders
2 p.m. – Wang’s Basketball vs MP Hotel
4 p.m. – Bread Story vs Jumbo Plastic

Top stars from UAAP champion National University and runner-up Far Eastern University lead MJM Builders to battle today in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

MJM Builders takes on Cagayan Valley in the opener at 12 noon while Jumbo Plastic opens its title bid against newcomer Bread Story-Lyceum in the final game of the tripleheader at 4 p.m.

Sandwiched in both matches is Wang’s Basketball’s quest to wrest the early lead when it meets the Manny Pacquiao-owned MP Hotel at 2 p.m.

MJM is expected to make waves in the tournament after acquiring the services of FEU’s Mac Belo, Mike Tolomia and Roger Pogoy, and NU’s Gelo Alolino, Glenn Khobuntin and Tristan Perez.

MJM will face off against a Cagayan team that will be without top overall pick Moala Tautuaa, who is still playing for the Westports Malaysia Dragons in the ASEAN Basketball League.

Following their semifinal defeat to Blackwater in last season’s Foundation Cup semis, Jumbo Plastic has set a higher goal this time as it is determined to finally win the championship after two years in the league.

But the Linoleum Giants will have to do it minus star center Jason Ballesteros, who is already playing for Blackwater in the PBA.

Even without Ballesteros, the team will rely on the addition of two prized guards in Letran star Mark Cruz and former University of Cebu standout Brian Heruela, who almost made the Blackwater roster before being cut after the PBA preseason.

Up front for the Giants are Marion Magat and Jan Colina along with newcomers Maclean Sabelina and Robby Celiz.